Major Crack Down on Energy Transfer's 'Perilous Behavior' During Rover Pipeline Construction
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA) announced Monday an unprecedented unilateral order in response to Energy Transfer Partner's fracked gas Rover pipeline's 27 violations. The announcement comes after the Rover pipleine had more spills last week near the Tuscarawas River.
OEPA's unilateral order includes requiring Energy Transfer to establish a stronger contingency plan for when disasters occur; removal and proper disposal of the diesel spilled in quarries near Massillon and Canton as well as along the Tuscarawas; groundwater monitoring near the multiple spill sites; and to create a remediation plan for the spill of more than 2 million gallons of clay and diesel fluid in a rare high-quality wetland in Stark County.
Additionally, the OEPA referred the nearly $1 million in fines to the state's Attorney General. In Monday's press conference, the OEPA stated that it is prepared to defend this unilateral order in state and federal courts, if Energy Transfer would challenge their authority to protect Ohioans' rights to clean air, water and land.
"The Sierra Club applauds Ohio EPA for taking action against Energy Transfer's reckless construction of a dirty and dangerous fracked gas pipeline," Sierra Club Ohio Director Jen Miller said. "We've always said that it's never a question of whether a pipeline will spill, but rather a question of when. Energy Transfer has proven that it's not merely an operational pipeline that threatens our communities and waterways, but one in construction too."
"Energy Transfer has proven that it cannot be trusted with our clean air, clean water, or our communities. As strong as OEPA has come down on this company, ultimately, the only way to protect Ohio is to stop this project," Miller added. "We call on the Ohio's Attorney General Mike DeWine and FERC to follow OEPA's lead in ensuring that the people of Ohio are protected by this irresponsible, rogue company. The Sierra Club remains ready to support OEPA in state and federal legal battles, if necessary."
At first glance, you wouldn't think avocados and almonds could harm bees; but a closer look at how these popular crops are produced reveals their potentially detrimental effect on pollinators.
Migratory beekeeping involves trucking millions of bees across the U.S. to pollinate different crops, including avocados and almonds. Timothy Paule II / Pexels / CC0<p>According to <a href="https://www.fromthegrapevine.com/israeli-kitchen/beekeeping-how-to-keep-bees" target="_blank">From the Grapevine</a>, American avocados also fully depend on bees' pollination to produce fruit, so farmers have turned to migratory beekeeping as well to fill the void left by wild populations.</p><p>U.S. farmers have become reliant upon the practice, but migratory beekeeping has been called exploitative and harmful to bees. <a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/05/10/health/avocado-almond-vegan-partner/index.html" target="_blank">CNN</a> reported that commercial beekeeping may injure or kill bees and that transporting them to pollinate crops appears to negatively affect their health and lifespan. Because the honeybees are forced to gather pollen and nectar from a single, monoculture crop — the one they've been brought in to pollinate — they are deprived of their normal diet, which is more diverse and nourishing as it's comprised of a variety of pollens and nectars, Scientific American reported.</p><p>Scientific American added how getting shuttled from crop to crop and field to field across the country boomerangs the bees between feast and famine, especially once the blooms they were brought in to fertilize end.</p><p>Plus, the artificial mass influx of bees guarantees spreading viruses, mites and fungi between the insects as they collide in midair and crawl over each other in their hives, Scientific American reported. According to CNN, some researchers argue that this explains why so many bees die each winter, and even why entire hives suddenly die off in a phenomenon called colony collapse disorder.</p>
Avocado and almond crops depend on bees for proper pollination. FRANK MERIÑO / Pexels / CC0<p>Salazar and other Columbian beekeepers described "scooping up piles of dead bees" year after year since the avocado and citrus booms began, according to Phys.org. Many have opted to salvage what partial colonies survive and move away from agricultural areas.</p><p>The future of pollinators and the crops they help create is uncertain. According to the United Nations, nearly half of insect pollinators, particularly bees and butterflies, risk global extinction, Phys.org reported. Their decline already has cascading consequences for the economy and beyond. Roughly 1.4 billion jobs and three-quarters of all crops around the world depend on bees and other pollinators for free fertilization services worth billions of dollars, Phys.org noted. Losing wild and native bees could <a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/wild-bees-crop-shortage-2646849232.html" target="_self">trigger food security issues</a>.</p><p>Salazar, the beekeeper, warned Phys.org, "The bee is a bioindicator. If bees are dying, what other insects beneficial to the environment... are dying?"</p>
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